GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) - Kimberly-Clark announced Wednesday it will be closing its facilities in Neenah and Fox Crossing.
On January 23, the company announced they would be dropping up to 5,500 jobs across the country. Now Local 5 is learning some of those jobs will be lost in the Fox Cities.
Kimberly-Clark will be closing the Neenah Cold Springs and Neenah Nonwovens locations. The company says the closure of the Nonwoven facility will happen within the next 18 months. Right now there is not a set closing for the Cold Springs location, but all employees have been notified of the closings.
In a statement Kimberly-Clark says the business decisions regarding their employees are the hardest to make.
Neenah mayor Dean Kaufert says, "I'm also worried about the supply chain, the companies that supply goods and services to Kimberly-Clark, to the Cold Spring facility, to the Neenah Nonwoven."
Kimberly-Clark says the changes are part of a re-structuring program that will save the company 500-550 million dollars by the year 2021.
A number of state lawmakers reacted to today's news with dismay. Democratic Senator Dave Hansen released this statement:
“Today’s announcement that Kimberly-Clark is closing two mills in the Fox Valley and firing 600 workers is sad news for the workers and their families, for our paper industry and our state. It is especially concerning given that the closings come on the heels of Kimberly-Clark’s announcement that they would use savings generated by the Trump/Republican corporate tax cut to fund the shutdown of these mills and to fire 600 Wisconsin workers.
“While this may be good news for Kimberly-Clark’s shareholders, it comes at the expense of 600 workers and their families who now face an uncertain future in a state where the Governor seems not only out of touch with the true state of our economy, but who is also unconcerned about the number of good paying jobs that keep disappearing.
“The closing of these mills and resulting loss of jobs is especially troubling. Paper industry jobs are some of the best in Wisconsin. For generations, they have played a key role in creating and sustaining a strong middle class in our state.
“Unfortunately, the current governor, who can’t seem to give enough of our tax dollars to Taiwanese giant Foxconn to help workers in northern Illinois, couldn’t seem to care less.
“Rather than commit billions of tax dollars to a gambit that at best will help a small part of the it makes more sense to invest in Wisconsin’s existing employers and employees, help local entrepreneurs from around the state start and grow new businesses, and provide the education and infrastructure that will set Wisconsin apart from the competition. Doing that will not only help keep jobs like the those being lost in the Fox Valley, but it will make all of Wisconsin attractive to outside investors for years to come.”
Outagamie county Executive Tom Nelson issued the following statement today, regarding news of layoffs at Kimberly-Clark's Fox Cities facility.
"We had hoped our region would be spared, but it looks like the Paper Valley will take another serious hit. Given the string of gut punches to papermakers, and given the news of the closure of Harley Davidson's Missouri plant, Wisconsinites have to be asking themselves, where is our economic recovery?
Kind words from concerned elected leaders are appreciated, but tangible support would be better. We've been told repeatedly that corporate tax cuts would create jobs. Instead, we get job loss after job loss. And our priorities are backwards. If the state can spend $4 Bilion on Foxconn, surely we can help our homegrown paper industry."
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